Since D&D Next came out, I figured out I should pick up some 4e books before they become completely unavailable, since my gaming company loves 4e. (Atm I own 3 core books, Neverwinter campaign and Adventurer's Vault. Neverwinter is amazing, Adventurer's Vault on the other hand I regret buying.) However there are quite a lot of 4e products and they are all expensive and confusing. Did I mention expensive?

So which books are worthy of hard-copy purchase and will be useful for 4e Forgotten Realms settings for years to come? And why?

Things that I am looking for:

  • Something that will be reread and used many times while making adventures;
  • Inspiration for building great plots and worlds around FR and Neverwinter;
  • Books that concentrate on atmosphere, not tactics rich combats; (4e gives that by default)
  • Books that help fit ideas into 4e frame;
  • No player sourcebooks (And anything else that character builder can replace easily.)
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately this question is entirely opinion based and asking for lists of answers. This site handles these types of question really, really badly and because of this they are not within the scope of what can be asked. Voting to close as primarily opinion based. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Apr 7, 2015 at 10:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phil I thought books for DM purposes weren't that many (40-ish books in total?). And really quality sources even less (FR was terrible as inspiration, for example, and I might as well could have skipped getting core books). I hoped to "distill" good books by this question, that could be useful for years to come (I actually have no idea what to do with epic tier), but oh well. I seem to have no luck with this site - only 2 questions and both bad. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rena
    Apr 7, 2015 at 11:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem is Rena that there is no "good answer" to this question. Person A will pick books 1,2,3,4,5 and person B will pick books 1,6,7,8,9. Nobody can really say "this answer is correct" as it's just down to personal opinion, where stackexchange expects questions with "one answer", with the best written "one answer" rising to the top. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Apr 7, 2015 at 11:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Theik I get it :) I should have found a forum for this question. Stachexchange-like RPG questions are hard :D When it comes to RPG, you (me) usually want advice, and advice tends to get heavily opinion based. Should have I asked - which books will be useful for DM for years to come? Or is this question beyond repair? =D \$\endgroup\$
    – Rena
    Apr 7, 2015 at 11:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that "which books will be useful for a DM for years to come" is a lot better as a question, but may very well still be opinion based. You might be able to save the question by further defining what -you- need in a book. Specific settings ( "What books do I need to get if I want to run a campaign in the Bunnyflower Forest?" ) or gametypes you enjoy ( "What books help me deal with non-combat situations?" ) are a lot less opinion-based than "what books are good?", which is basically what your question sums up to. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Apr 7, 2015 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


I've been running a 4E Neverwinter campaign for nearly a year now.

As far as I'm aware, the only official source books that deal directly with the Forgotten Realms are

  • Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
  • Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide
  • Neverwinter Campaign Setting

I can't tell you which books are "worthy of hard-copy purchase" as that's dependent upon many subjective factors, but I can tell you that I use all three of these regularly when planning adventures.

Other books I use "that concentrate on atmosphere", but which don't explicitly deal with the Forgotten Realms setting include

  • Manual of the Planes (helps with devils and gods, especially when planning Ashmadai)
  • Dungeon Master's Guide (not atmosphere explicitly, but advice on creating atmosphere)
  • Open Grave Secrets of the Undead (when I'm thinking about Thay)

My players haven't entered the Shadowfell yet, but I expect to reference The Shadowfell - Gloomwrought and Beyond once that happens.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually ended up buying these books along with both Draconomicons and DMG2. There are others I liked, but you mentioned the very best ones from 4e books. "Menzoberranzan: City of intrigue" is also a FR setting, however it is only interesting if you want to play a Drow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rena
    May 3, 2015 at 22:25

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